Review: Tritton AX 180 Gaming Headset (Tested on Xbox 360 & PS3)

TRITTON Technologies, known for designing and building the best gaming headsets on earth, delivers an affordable precision audio headset – the AX 180. Designed specifically for the XBOX and PS3, the balanced speakers provide rich, full stereo audio while the removable microphone ensures superior voice communication. The convenient inline audio controller features independent voice and game volume controls so you can clearly hear your teammates during those crucial gaming moments. Analog connectivity allows the AX 180 to be used with the popular Wii® system and the breakaway cable design has options for MP3 and iPhone® connectivity. Get your head into the game with the new AX 180.

Features:

  • Stereo Analog Connection
  • Inline Audio Controller with Independent Chat Volume Control
  • Voice Compatible with Xbox® Live
  • USB Microphone for Playstation® Network /PC/Mac®
  • Removable Microphone

I’m not really going to post up specific details or specs on this product. Above are just the basic features of this headset. Instead, I’m going to concentrate on telling you my experiences with the headset thus far. I’ve had the headset for over a month now and I’ve had mainly really positive results with the headset. There are a few issues with it, but I think the fault has more to do with the Xbox 360 then it does with the headset itself.

The package itself consists of the AX 180 which has a pretty lengthy cord measuring at about 8 ft. The end of the cord has 2 standard 3.5mm jacks used for speaker and mic connections on your PC as well as a USB plug for power. Included is an adapter cable that connects to the speaker input so that you can splice into the composite cables in order to pick up audio from your console, in my case, it is an Xbox 360. The set also include a removable mic that twists into the left ear piece. The headset then connects to the Xbox 360 wireless controller via a separate cable that goes from the control unit to the controller. It may seem like a lot of wires, but they don’t really get i nteh way and you soon forget that they are there. Setup is very straight forward and can be done in less then 5 minutes.

The headset also feature a break away cable that can be used to also connect to a MP3 player with a separate adapter that is not included. I was told that it would be available soon for release but have not had a chance to see or try one out yet.

Usage
The audio from the headset is only in stereo. There is no virtual surround sound like there is in their higher end models. Don’t let this deter you however. For the price, you are getting a very good set of cans. The game audio is crisp and clear. There is no way to adjust treble or bass but they seem to be at very reasonable levels. The treble is not overly high and the bass is deep, but not too deep. The AX 180 can also be very loud when cranked up all the way. I only have the audio set to about half way so that I can also semi hear what is going on around me in the outside world. Xbox Live chatter also comes in through the speakers clearly. They are controlled by a separate voice audio switch which is a nice touch. Voice audio can be cranked a lot louder then the standard Xbox Live headset. I like to turn it down slightly as voice chatter can be annoying at times when concentrating on specific games. The mic for the headset is adjustable and can be bent into any number of different positions. Don’t want to talk? There is also a nice handy mute switch.

The headset also works for anything that is piped into the Xbox 360 such as music, movies, etc. It will not however allow you to listen to regular TV unless you install it a different way. I have mine setup where everything is connected to a AV switch box and my AX 180 splices inbetween that and the TV. I can here TV because I have a HD Digital TV converter box. I pretty sure you can also do the same if you have a Tivo, Cable box, Direct TV, etc. Audio from any of these sources also comes in loud and clear, in fact, the audio on the headset comes in much clearer to me then the speakers on my TV. This works out great for me because my game room is right next to my son’s bedroom and when he is sleeping, I can not turn the audio up at all. This used to pose a major problem for me when it came to games like Call of Duty 4 or MW2 as I could not hear people sneaking up behind me. I no longer have that problem as I can mute the TV now and crank up my headset to whatever level I want.

Comfort:
The headset itself is very comfortable. The earpieces are padded nicely and the shape of the cans are contoured to fit around and over your ears. No part of the padding ever touches your ear. The top part of the headset is also pretty heavily padded. They are quite soft when resting on the top of your head. I could literally keep these on all day without ever feeling uncomfortable like you do with other headsets.

Problems:
There really aren’t any. At the beginning, I ran into the problem of the exposed mic cable causing random background noise. People would tell me that they heard a buzzing noise on their end. I figured out it was the mic cable that would normally plug into your PC. I fixed that by capping it with a pen cap. I made Tritton aware of the problem and they promised tha all future shipments would have a rubber cap on it to solve the problem. Another problem I ran into was that when you have the controller plugged into the play and charge kit, the same thing would occur where people on the other end would again hear a buzzing noise coming from my end. Tritton is aware of this and says that the problem lies with the Xbox 360 in that it the noise is coming form the fan which is very badly grounded. I suggest that when you use the headset for voice chatter, disconnect the controller from the play and charge kit and only use it wirelessly. When used like this, there is no buzzing noise what-so-ever and the headset functions as it should.

Conclusion:
If you are on a budget and need a good gaming headset, I highly recommend the Tritton AX 180. Even if you aren’t on a budget, this headset is top quality. Very rugged and the build quality is top notch. And unlike similar headsets that they make for specific consoles, you can use these on almost anything. Xbox, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PC, etc. At time of purchase, they were $69.99 at Best Buy. These are exclusive to Best Buy so you must purchase these there. I have seen these for as low as $49.99 when they are on sale.

Updates (01.12.10):
I finally was able to try the Tritton AX 180 on another console other then the Xbox 360. With my recent purchase of a Sony PS3, I needed a headset for it as it does not come with one. Luckily, the Tritton AX 180 is a multi console headset so I tried it out on the PS3. Connection is a breeze considering all I had to do was disconnect the USB cable form the Xbox 360 and plug it into the PS3. The on the audio switch, just move it into the PS3 position. That was it. Done. there is not separate cable that plugs into the controller either so the PS3 setup has 1 less wire hanging around. Sound quality again is top notch. I tested it out with Uncharted 2 and you get real distinct left and right channels. Chat audio however stinks, but I think that has to do with PS3 in general. Everyone I hear on it sounds liek they are talking through tin cans tied to strings. It is no fault of the Tritton AX 180. It has to do with how Sony compresses their chat audio I believe. I have a friend who uses the official PS3 Bluetooth headset and he says that it sounds exactly the same way.

2 thoughts on “Review: Tritton AX 180 Gaming Headset (Tested on Xbox 360 & PS3)

  1. These are only exclusively sold at Best Buy. They are $69.99. BUT I’ve seen them on sale now and then for as low as $49.99 at Best Buy. You just have to be on the lookout when thy are on sale.

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